Text & Image : Sambazon
THE SAMBAZON SUPERFOOD STORY
As surfers growing up in Southern California, we were raised to believe that caring for our own health and happiness is just as important as caring for that of our community and our planet. This philosophy — of understanding that we are all connected — has always made sense with how we want to live our lives. It’s part of our role and our responsibility to seek a common wellbeing that lets us love how we live and live how we love.
So, when I ventured to Brazil in 1999 with my buddy Ed (and later with my brother, Jeremy), we were in search of waves, but ended up falling in love with Brazil and its positive energy. We were overwhelmed by its scenery, its flavors, its people and its organic approach to health and vitality. From that first bowl full of the Amazon superfood açaí, we realized these superfoods were very special … and we knew from the start that we had to find a way to share them with the world in a way that mattered, and added value to everyone involved.
We started Sambazon based on a philosophy called the Triple Bottom Line, which not only measures success economically, but also socially and environmentally. When a Triple Bottom Line business makes a profit, it’s a positive experience for everything and everyone involved, from the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest which provides amazing superfoods and botanicals, to the farmers who work the land and earn a healthy living, to our employees who translate this Amazon magic into next level products; and finally, to our customers who ultimately use these delicious powers to help further their own health and wellness missions. We feel that this is an awesome model of how businesses should operate and that with enough of them out there, then capitalism, in fact, can be a positive force for change and a major contributor to a sustainable future.
From this vision, we created SAMBAZON’S PRINCIPLES OF PURPLE LOVE – a manifesto guiding us to always:
1. Foster a healthy disregard for the impossible.
2. Be fiercely committed to Sustainability + all things Organic/Non-GMO.
3. Share Superfoods that energize the Body + Soul.
4. Live an active lifestyle that’s centered around vibrant Health + Wellness.
5. Be honest, upful, playful, open, curious, driven and humble.
6. Trust in “One Tribe. One Vibe.” by being earnest, approachable and radically inclusive of all.
7. Measure success through a Triple Bottom Line: Social + Environmental + Economic.
We make healthy products with full integrity that promote a better you – the kind of you that lives better, works better, feels better and inspires the world to be a better place. That’s why we are organic, we believe in non-GMO and we support fair trade. It’s the reason we craft our recipes with superfood ingredients that provide epic flavors and amazing health benefits. Ingredients like Acerola Cherry to boost your immune system, Yerba Mate & Guarana for energy, and protein from whole food, vegan sources instead of processed isolates. The food we eat makes our minds bright, keeps our spirits high and fills our hearts with so much purple love we just gotta share.
SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF THE BRAZILIAN AMAZON
We are Sambazon, a triple bottom line company dedicated to bringing next level nutrition to the world while supporting the environmental and social well-being of the Brazilian Amazon and its people. The Brazilian Amazon is a special place harboring nearly one-third of the planet’s biodiversity. We were so inspired by this part of the world that we named our company after it – Sambazon –Sustainable Management of the Brazilian AmAZON. To this day we harvest and ethically source Amazon Superfoods™ in order to make our products in a manner that positively impact the people who use them, those who make them, and the planet.
It all began with Açaí, king of the Amazon Superfoods™. When we first began sharing this amazing fruit with the world we quickly discovered the large majority of the world’s Açaí came through a supply chain that lacked any transparency or industry oversight. There were huge open markets where countless middlemen and factory operators with no vision into social or environmental conditions led to the potential exploitation of the family farmers harvesting the fruit. Additionally, environmental destruction of the Amazon Rainforest was occurring at such a rate that annually an area of land equivalent to the state of Rhode Island was disappearing.
That’s when we realized a market driven conservation model could positively impact the Amazon region and its people.
MAKING POSITIVE CHANGE
For more than a decade now, we have been on a mission to positively change the world through sustainable agriculture, environmental stewardship and social justice. We are proud that our market-driven conservation business model has created positive change in the Amazon Rainforest and beyond. We have:
- Worked diligently to pioneer Organic and Fair Trade certifications
- Become certified by EcoCert, a 3rd party certifying and inspection agency
- Created employment opportunities and increased the socio-economic status of more than 10,000 family farmers
- Certified and are helping to sustainably manage more than two million acres of the Amazon Rainforest
- Converted our facilities’ wood burning boilers to burn Açaí seeds and partnered with a local brick factory to use Açai seeds as a byproduct as an alternative to burning virgin trees, saving over 200,000 cubic feet of wood per year, equal to the size of 10 football fields!
- Constructed new schools, community buildings and medical centers for several riverside communities in multiple villages where we work.
- Provided equipment and materials to help a local women’s cooperative increase profits by crafting jewelry from the seeds that are a byproduct of the Açaí production process.
- Worked with partners including the World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy and Brazilian NGO Peabiru Institute to develop and refine sustainable practices in the Amazon region.
- Become active members of the Organic Trade Association, Co-OpAmerica/Green Business and theNon-GMO Project
And we continue to invest in social and environmental projects that improve the standards for the Amazon River estuary and its inhabitants. We add value to the communities and forest by encouraging environmental stewardship, protect bio-diversity through agro-forestry systems and provide an alternative to logging, cattle, soy, charcoal and monoculture plantations.
KEEPING THE POSITIVE VIBES GOING
Sambazon continues to create global demand for other Amazon Superfoods™ like Acerola Cherry, Guarana and Yerba Mate. This demand has made it more valuable to sustainably harvest the Amazon forest rather than cut it down.
Our organic and sustainably harvested Acerola is sourced in partnership withNutriBotanica, who follows the principles of bio-dynamic agriculture. This philosophy honors the importance of biodiversity by emphasizing the holistic interrelationships of the soil, plants and animals. The result is a self-sustaining system eliminating the need for chemicals, pesticides, over grazing and ultimately a farm that is better in-tune with the rhythm of nature. You can learn more about Acerola, the amazon cherry and NutriBotanica here.
All of our products are Non-GMO, USDA Organic, Ecocert Fair Trade, Vegan, Dairy and Gluten Free. In 2010, Sambazon became a certified B-Corp member solidifying our commitment and holding us accountable to maintaining our triple bottom line approach to business.
Much purple love to you for being a part of the passion, purpose and creativity of Sambazon.
The SAMBAZON Tribe